Anybody who lives in Texas House District 108 is sick and tired of receiving mailers from candidates Court Alley, Morgan Meyer, and Chart Westcott. I’d hoped to be able to tell you exactly how much money each campaign has spent on these slick promotional items. But as I tabulated their expenditures, I found that each campaign reported its expenses in a different way. So it’s somewhat of an apples-and-oranges comparison.
Let’s start with Westcott, who has raised and spent the most money in this race, by far. And — God bless him — Westcott has turned in extremely detailed reports about how he’s spent all of that money. Because the descriptions on his individual expenses are as specific as “photographs at Austin Capitol for campaign ads/mailers” and “postage for Obamacare mailer,” I can tell you that he’s spent at least $282,516 on flooding your mailboxes with messages.
Other tidbits from Westcott’s highly detailed reports:
- His campaign paid a Plano company called Secure One Data Solutions $3,498.88 for “data entry from school/church directories.”
- A company called Infinite Ecolife Technology charged $2,821 for phone cases bearing the campaign’s logo.
- It cost the campaign $1,550 for a company called Airsign.com to fly a banner over the SMU football game on Sept. 7.
- The rent for his campaign’s Snider Plaza office suite is $3,000 per month.
- The fee for a Moore Disposal portable toilet at Goar Park on Nov. 8 was $649.50.
- Two staffers were reimbursed $35 apiece to cover University Park parking tickets.
The expense reports from the Meyer campaign aren’t nearly as detailed. But I can tell you he’s spent $141,746 with Allyn Media, and the descriptions for $104,722 worth of those expenses include the words “advertising,” “printing,” or “postage.”
Separate from those expenses, I can also report that the Meyer campaign spent $3,104.75 at the U.S. Post Office seven times between Jan. 15 and Feb. 19. An eighth time, on Feb. 7, they spent $3,105.75, or one dollar more than normal. There must have been an impulse buy at the counter.
Alley, meanwhile, has spent $55,339 on expenses such as “postage,” “printing and mailing to district voters,” and “campaign materials.” That total includes $700 paid to one of the candidate’s brothers, Barrett Alley, for “design & graphic art.” Come on, Barrett; you couldn’t help a brother out, literally?
What I found odd is that Alley’s payees did not include People Newspapers, even though he has ads appearing on this website. After some probing questions to our accounting department, I found out we charged $1,030 to an Alley consultant, Clayton Henry, whose company, Graphics Management, charged Alley’s campaign at least $50,542.
Westcott, on the other hand, listed $6,600 paid to People Newspapers, for ads on this site and in our monthly publications. We’d like to thank him for propping up the print media in this part of town, because he also spent:
- $13,908 with The Park Cities News
- $4,299 with Advocate Magazines
- $1,860 with the Texas Jewish Post
- $950 with Scots Illustrated
- $800 on advertising in the Jesuit football program
The only candidate who hasn’t sent dollars our way is Meyer. But he did report spending $150 on an ad in the program for the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association Holiday Home Tour. Unfortunately, that money went down the drain because the tour was canceled due to icy weather. Perhaps that’s what scared the Meyer campaign away from print publications. Yeah, that must be it.